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On Assassin’s Creed (IV: Black Flag) – Excited No Longer

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag Title

I’ve taken to Twitter in the past to vocalize my lack of excitement for the recently revealed Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, but I’ve since decided that I should put my thoughts on digital, imaginary paper. The fact of the matter is: I don’t foresee myself getting excited/hyped up for Black Flag, despite how much I’ve loved the series in the past. I can thank the last entry in the series, Assassin’s Creed III, for that.

Assassin’s Creed III, for lack of a more intelligent word, ruined me when it comes to the series; it isn’t a good game. It’s not as good as a game called ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ should be, and that’s disappointing. Connor wasn’t a good character, the main storyline was dull and the chase sequences were abysmal. Not to mention several nit-picky things that can easily add up to a huge annoyance, like meaningless side quests and collectibles, the horrible crafting and shipping menu, instant fail states, and those 100% sync objectives.

Yes, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag certainly sounds good (f—kin’ pirates!), but a lot of things tend to do that when put on paper. And if Aliens: Colonial Marines is anything to go by, it seems as though you can trust what you’re looking at even less than before. Take the world premiere trailer for Assassin’s Creed IV, it looks great, and going by IGN’s Rewind Theater video, you can get an idea of some of the stuff you’ll be able to do, but you can’t form any expectations of the game (will it be fun, functional, worthwhile?); it’s a trailer, trailers lie. ACIV is said to have been in development for the last two years, does this mean it’s being done by the team that was doing AC: Brotherhood/Revelations while ACIII was being worked on by another team? It’s getting harder and harder to keep track of who’s doing what with the series.

Black Flag will be the fourth consecutive title to be released a year after its predecessor. Can you believe that? Ubisoft has been cranking these out, year after year, since 2010. Assassin’s Creed II, which came out in 2009, at least had a two year gap between it and the original Assassin’s Creed. And even though the established universe has a lot of stories it can tell, it should take its time. The series needs to take a break every now and then. How can Assassin’s Creed be anything to look forward to if it never goes away? Truth be told, that way of thinking never even occurred to me before Connor donned the Assassin uniform.

I’ve read comments, here and there, from people who seem to be genuinely excited for Assassin’s Creed IV. Part of me envies their continued support and excitement, while the other part is standing in an imaginary corner with its arms folded, shaking its head in silent disapproval. This series was my favorite series on this generation of systems and I always assumed that, whenever a new one came out, it’d be a home run (or a perfect assassination; whichever). Now, post ACIII, I’m cautiously interested. Following what’s being said and poking at it with a stick, waiting for a boxing glove on a spring to introduce itself to my face.

If Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag turn out to be the outstanding title it hopes/needs to be, great. Praise be to whatever god(s) the Assassins believe in. Until sometime after it launches this October, though, I’ll be on the sidelines watching, waiting, and still daydreaming about that pet Eagle I never got in ACIII.

Kyree didn't have an N64 or Dreamcast as a kid (so sad) and he doesn't remember finishing any of his PlayStation games, but skip to the PS2/GC/Xbox era and everything changed. He hasn't been outside to play tag in forever, but he can recall playing way too much Smash Bros. and even more Kingdom Hearts; seriously, he can recite lines from it. I think he may have a problem.

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